Monday, June 30, 2008

Elisabeth's 4 year wellness check

Elisabeth had her 4 year wellness check today with our doctor. Thanks Elisa for watching my other two for us during her appointment. I prepared her for the appointment by explaining some of the things they'd be doing so that there wasn't anything too shocking. I told her she'd be getting shots and that they would hurt, but that the pain would go away very quickly. Everything went surprisingly well, she didn't even cry when she got 2 shots! Amazing! Well, I did bribe her a little...I told her that if she was good during her appointment and would be still for her shots then afterwards we could...(I had her fill in the end of my sentence and she choose to get an ice cream cone from McDonalds, which is what we did). Elisabeth is very healthy, she still has her heart murmur but that's not a worry for us. She got that checked out at the Children's Hospital at the University of Washington last year and the specialist told us that 100% of all children have functional heart murmurs at one time or another and to just forget it because there was nothing wrong with her heart. Here are her stats:
Weight: 32 lb. 13 oz = 27%
Height: 3' 3"= 23%
Body Mass Index: 15.5 = 53%

Now she only needs two more shots before kindergarten which she'll get when she turns 5 next year and then after that she won't need to get shots again until she's 11! Hooray!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday Elisabeth!

Some oldies:
Elisabeth is 4 today! Here is a cute short story from this morning. As soon as Elisabeth woke up she opened her presents, put on one of her new dresses for church, was handling a ribbon on it and looked up to me and said, "I'm 4 now so can I tie this in a bow?" Apparently the moment you are four you automatically know how to do several things that you didn't know how to do when you were three :). I'm sure she got some of this idea from Scott and myself because we'll say things like, "When you turn 4 you'll be able to tie your own shoes," or, "you can wipe yourself after going poop when you're 4"etc.

Elisabeth with her gifts:
Elisabeth modeling her new dress from Granny and her new tiara:After church Elisabeth changed from her dress and into her new ballerina outfit from Grandma:
Yesterday morning Scott took the kids out for awhile so that I could work on Elisabeth's cake, and then in the afternoon the kids took naps while I finished it up and Scott put up some decorations for Elisabeth's party. When Elisabeth came upstairs from her quiet time and saw the princess castle cake completed her expression was priceless(more pictures of cake on previous post). I caught a glimpse of it on camera:We celebrated Elisabeth's birthday(minus the presents, we waited to do those today on her actual birthday with only our immediate family)in our backyard yesterday from 3-5pm. Our friends and neighbors let us borrow their inflatable slip and slide and wading pools, and a canopy for some extra shade. We set those up and Elisabeth invited over her sunbeam class and a couple other close friends and we had a little party. All the kids had an enjoyable time eating, splashing around and sun bathing. By the end of the party the wading pools were not only filled with water but also with dirt, grass, bugs, soggy cheetos and cake, yum!Happy Birthday Elisabeth, you are such a sweet heart! We love you and are so happy that you are a part of our family.

Princess castle cake

Here is Elisabeth's princess castle cake, and boy am I glad that it's done :). No, I really do enjoy cake decorating and it's especially fun to try new things (the towers on this cake were new to me as were the starburst candy roses...normally I just make roses with the icing), but like I was telling Gina the other day, I probably wouldn't recreate this cake unless it was for a paid customer. The entire project(including baking time) probably took nearly 10 hours, though luckily I started a week ago and was able to do it over several days.
Here are the details on the cake for anyone who is interested:
I used 5 funfetti cake box mixes and made about 5 batches of buttercream icing. The cake is covered in buttercream and the grass and shell borders, the vines, leaves, rose buds and a couple other little details are also in buttercream. The door, windows and balls on the tops of towers are made in fondant, the banners are construction paper, the big roses are made from starburst candy, we used princess cake topper figurines (thanks Lori and Cameron), and the top border of both cakes I used marshmallows. The towers are made from a toilet paper roll with a cake cone inside and a sugar cone on top, frosted in buttercream. I added pink sprinkles on the sugar cones and the toilet paper roll and cake cone were covered in white fondant. I used a 12x12 square cake pan for the bottom and the top tier is a 9 inch circle.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Outdoor photo shoot with Charles

Today at the park there was a tractor with a claw parked out in a nearby field. When we go to parks Charles likes to wander, he doesn't usually play on the equipment for too long, and so he wandered over near this claw and found a shovel lying around and started digging. I grabbed Maren's camera(thanks for being prepared Maren :)) and followed him over for a little photo shoot. He was very obliging and let me take several pictures of him on the claw with happy smiles. But after about the 3rd pose he was ready to quit. I had one more that I wanted to take but he decided that he was done and put on his grumpy face.
Me begging, "Please Charles, can I get one more smile? Can I see your beautiful white teeth?"
I think his posture and facial expression gave a pretty clear answer that he wasn't going to comply:
"Please Charles. I'll put a bean in your jar."And yes, I am a mom who frequently bribes her children.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Training Charles

Well, as I mentioned before we switched Charles to a toddler bed about a month ago. The first couple of weeks he did so good! He went to bed fine and when he woke up he stayed in bed and called for me and wouldn't come out until I went in to get him. Well, things have changed. He no longer likes to stay in bed. He doesn't want to sleep, ever. I tried giving him options: you can stay in your bed with your door closed or open, with your fan on or off, with blankets or not etc. so that he felt like he still had some control, but it didn't help much. He would make a choice and then after a few minutes would disregard everything that was said and would just come out anyways. I needed to figure something out because it's very hard for me to handle going through an entire day without one single minute of alone time.

I asked Scott if we could put a lock on his door, and we were going to but then I remembered we had 2 special child proof door knobs that were much harder for the kids to open. You see awhile ago I took most of the child proof door knobs off because they were pointless; the kids could easily open the door with them on. Those were the ones we bought from Target. But while we were living in Washington I bought a couple that were a little more expensive from a child specialty store and they are quite a bit more difficult to get open...though they have managed it a couple of times. So I put the child proof door knob on just before his nap and told him that I had done so but that if he'd stay in his room we could leave the door open and if he came out then the door would be shut and he wouldn't be able to get out because of the child proof knob. He disagreed and said, "Mommy, if you take me in my bed then I will just open the door and come out."
"Okay, go ahead and try."
We walked down to his room, he climbed in bed, I sang to him and gave him kisses, did everything just the same but left his door open. He came out. So I said, "oh sorry bud, I guess we need to keep the door shut." And I brought him back to his bed. Well he wasn't upset at all because he was completely confident in his ability to open the door even with the special child proof knob. Once I shut the door I sat on the floor just outside so that I could hold it closed in case he did get it to twist and open. I pulled out my book and started reading. Within a couple of minutes I could hear him get out of bed and walk over to the door. He tried to open it. He tried again. He started to get frustrated but kept trying. One time he nearly got it open so I quickly put my hand on the knob so that he couldn't twist it again. After a few minutes of trying he gave up and resorted to laying on the floor and kicking the door. After probably 5 minutes of this he stopped and got busy doing other things in his room, playing with toys etc.

I sat outside his door two times but since then I haven't had to because he thinks he can't open it. He doesn't always go to sleep, and if he does, sometimes it's not in his bed but that's okay with me.(this picture was taken around 9pm...we open his door once he's fallen asleep, which means we usually have a little boy wandering the house in the morning but he's been pretty responsible, well as responsible as a 2 year old boy can be, about his morning activities so we'll let this continue unless in the future we feel the need for a change), He cried a little the first 2 days, but now he's content in there, playing with his toys or resting, and I get a little bit of much needed alone time. Though I wish he would still sleep everyday because when he doesn't he sure is cranky come 4:00. Now that we've done this for several days, when I give him the option to have his door open or closed, he still picks open but now he usually stays because he knows that if he comes out of his room then it'll be closed.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Annabelle is 4 months old!

I can't remember if I mentioned that we were able to get Annabelle on her own separate insurance, but we did. It's an extra $75/month but it covers wellness checks and immunizations though there is a $20 copay. Once we get through December we can cancel her separate insurance and add her on our family insurance through Scott's work. Her insurance has been effective since June 1st so today we were able to take her in for her 4 month wellness check(thanks Maren for watching our oldest two)! Her stats are as follows:
Weight: 13lb. 3 oz. = 35%
Height: 25.2 inches = 81 %
Head circumference: 41.2 cm = 52%

She received 5 immunizations in 3 shots and one oral immunization. She didn't like the shots of course, but she did very well. She was tired once we got home and quickly fell asleep. I put her on her back, but here she is, sleeping on her tummy and sucking her fingers.

Annabelle is a healthy and beautiful baby. She rolls over, coo's, smiles, laughs, sucks her fingers, sleeps through the night, is a terrific napper and nurser and has such a sweet and easy temperament. We sure love our sweet Annabelle.

Here are a couple short videos of Annabelle that we took within the last week. The first shows her cooing and in the second you get a little bit of her laugh...also notice her facial expression when Charlie gets too close, she doesn't like to have her space invaded :).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Roses, tennis and cakes

The other day the kids and I went out and cut off a few roses from our rose bush and put them in a vase in our kitchen. That was the first time we've ever been able to do that which was kinda cool.The last few weeks we've been doing a babysitting swap with another family in our neighborhood and it was our turn to go out again so this morning Scott and I went to the local high school and played tennis. It was so much fun! I had not played tennis much in the past, I was more of a soccer player, and so we didn't really play a serious game today, we just sort of volleyed the ball back and forth, and I practiced serving. The hardest part was trying to serve the ball so that it would land in the little (at least it seemed little to me) box that's diagonally across from me. By the end my right arm felt weak and tired which is a good thing because it means I was pushing myself. Perhaps I should start lifting weights, though you'd think carrying a baby around all day would be enough...I guess it just works different muscles. The only unpleasant thing was hearing the other tennis players on adjacent courts cuss, but what I did to help my ears not hear so much filth was I started yelling out my own phrases to block there's out. "Rats!", "Whoops-a-daisy!", "Are you ready for this?!" I also sang a little :), maybe next time they see us playing they'll decide to go somewhere else :), but if not, and if their cursing continues then they can just enjoy a little wholesome entertainment from our court.

When we got home Scott and the kids did some work out in the yard while I baked Elisabeth's cakes for her birthday party next week. I'll be making my first princess castle cake! It's a lot of work but what cake isn't? This one is going to be big so the baking part was more work than normal birthday cakes, though not quite as much work as you'd put into a wedding cake...but close. Now they're stacked, wrapped and sitting in the freezer so come Friday I'll just need to pull them out and frost and decorate them. I'll post pictures of the final product once it's all finished.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Getting ready for the morning

This morning we went on a walk with Maren and got home around 10:10; we were supposed to meet others at the park at 10:30 but we ended up getting there closer to 11:30. I'm not usually a 'late' person because generally I give ourselves plenty of time to get ready and going but today things didn't quite go that way. The kids just wanted to do there own thing. I decided I probably had two choices: 1.) I could rush, rush, rush them which causes me a lot of stress or 2.) I could turn on the music and we could dance while I got ready. We choose option 2.

And Miss Annabelle pushed up in the corner of her bassinet, just listening.
Here is a short video. It may appear to be a bit chaotic at home, but it's really not. We have fun!

We had a very pleasant time at the park. Annabelle rolled over for the first time,well, first time that I actually witnessed. Charles found a stick, stood on top of a metal garbage can holder thing (don't know what the actual name is for those things, sorry), aimed his stick at cars and was shooting or something. He was there doing that, by himself, for probably an hour. Elisabeth found another little girl to play with and ran around with her. When a man in a kilt started playing his bagpipe she and several other children gathered around him and danced. The last time I remember seeing and hearing a bagpiper might have been when I was visiting Canada years and years ago...and what a treat, to hear him in our little town in Utah.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mom Jeans

My mother-in-law showed us this video from Saturday Night Live and it made me laugh pretty hard. Here is my favorite line, "So this Mother's Day don't give mom that bottle of perfume, give her something that says, 'I'm not a woman anymore, I'm a mom!"

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hape Fothrs Day

Since this is our family journal I thought I'd add a couple more things about Father's Day for our records. Sunday morning we made pancakes and bacon for Daddy. Saturday night we made a Father's Day dinner because Gina and Ben invited us over for Sunday evening with her family(thanks guys, the food was great and the company was even better!). At church on Sunday Elisabeth gave her first talk in primary(it was on the blessings of temples)! She did a really good job, spoke nice and clear into the microphone with me whispering behind her. During sacrament meeting both Charles and Elisabeth got up to sing, "I'm so glad when daddy comes home" with the rest of the Primary children. This was Charlie's first time up to the front to sing, technically he's not supposed to go up there until he's a sunbeam which won't happen for another year and a half, but he wanted to so we let him. Even though he knows all the words he didn't actually sing, he just stood there and looked out at everyone :). Elisabeth sang loud and beautifully and she was one of the only people to do all the hand motions :), very cute!

Elisabeth and I made Scott a Father's Day card during our girls night on Friday. I asked her to try and do it all by herself. She's been able to sound out short words for awhile like 'cat', 'dog', 'man' etc., and of course she knows how to spell her name, but I hadn't ever asked her to try out longer words. I was very impressed with what she came up with(she has a 'th' in her name and so we've had a couple of lessons on the sounds 'th' can make). She did ask me to help her with 'Day'. At first she just wrote 'Da' but didn't think that looked right so she asked me to help her and so I gave her the 'y'. Elisabeth, my 3 year old darling(okay, almost 4), you are one smart girl!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Favorite Dad pictures

Happy Father's Day! I am so grateful for the example of good and righteous men. You are very much needed today and I appreciate all that you do. I'm so grateful to my husband for the wonderful man, husband and father that he is. I am so grateful for my own dad and for Scott's dad for the example that they set for us to follow.

In honor of Father's Day, I've gone through and selected some of my favorite pictures of Dad's in action. Enjoy!
new dadhelping Elisabeth walkteaching Elisabeth to wash the car
Dad of 2Grandpa in Hard hat playing with Elisabeth
Grandpa playing the guitar with ElisabethDads
Dancing with the kids
roasting smores with Elisabetheating popcorn balls with the kids
helping the kids build a snowman
Dad of 3Kisses for Annabelle
Grandpa with his sweet girls